Bucholz Conservation Award
Click here to nominate someone for the 2019 Bucholz Conservation Award
2019 Kurt Bucholz Conservation Award Winner: Albert Sommers
Albert Sommers was nominated by his sister Jonita Sommers, Pinedale NRCS District Conservationist Jennifer Hayward, and Wyoming Stock Growers Association Executive Vice-President Jim Magagna.
Jennifer Hayward, District Conservationist for the Pinedale NRCS and one of Sommers’ nominators, spoke about his unique view on Wyoming agriculture and conservation, saying, “Albert’s fusion of past history along with his vision for the future gives him a perspective that instills respect and confidence for his views on ranching in the Upper Green River Valley. He embodies the spirit that Kurt Bucholz displayed in his life and work.”
Sommers is an active participant and advocate for Wyoming agriculture, wildlife, and conservation, representing them in the Wyoming Legislature and on many boards, working groups, and panels regionally and nationally. Sommers has also served as President of the Green River Valley Cattlemen’s Association and the Upper Green River Cattle Association, and has been a member of the Wyoming Stock Growers Association for over 30 years.
Rooted in Sublette County, Sommers’ passion for ranching has led him to accomplish a multitude of projects in the Pinedale area. The Sommers family, in partnership with Maggie Miller and the WSGLT, protected 19,000 acres of agricultural land and wildlife habitat with the Sommers-Grindstone Conservation Project, which represents one of the largest habitat and public access projects accomplished in Wyoming. Sommers commented on the importance of receiving this award, saying “Agriculture is becoming less and less a priority when it has to produce more and more. The value in this award is recognizing conservation on working lands. Some may think that conservation just happens, but it takes really hard work from really dedicated people.”
Sommers’ father ingrained in him the idea of “If you take care of the land, it will take care of you.” This mindset is evident in the dedication Sommers brings to his advocacy. He frequently attends and presents at Western Landowners Alliance symposiums, serves as a panelist for the Regional USDA Climate Hub on climate issues related to ranching, and he was a founding member of the Sublette County Invasive Species Task Force. This mindset also shows itself in the many awards Sommers’ has been given including the 2012 Wyoming Environmental Stewardship/Leopold Conservation Award, the 2013 Landowner of the Year Award from the Wyoming Game and Fish, and the 2012 Outstanding Contributions to Sage Grouse Initiative award.
Sommers is always willing to lend a hand in the community, has participated in many interviews, videos, and tours about ranching and wildlife in the Upper Green River Valley, and was a driving force in receiving recognition for the Green River Drift in the National Register of Historic Places. The Sommers family’s dedication to the history of Sublette County and the homesteaders who cleared the way for ranchers of today can be seen in the Sommers Homestead Living History Museum, located on their family ranch.
Past Recipients of the Bucholz Award
Dennis Sun – 2008
Dr. John Lunt – 2009
Joe Glode – 2010
Jim Chant – 2011
Bob Budd – 2012
Mike Healy – 2013
Bobbie Frank – 2014
Alan Barnett – 2015
Patrick O’ Toole – 2016
Jim Wilson – 2017
Kermit Brown -2018